Top four seeds through to quarters in Miami Masters

April 1st, 2009 - 2:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Rafael Nadal Miami, April 1 (DPA) Rafael Nadal sweated through a two-and-three-quarter-hour duel with Swiss Stan Wawrinka to complete a matched set of the four first seeds into the quarter-finals of the Miami Masters Wednesday.
The post-midnight conclusion of the Nadal marathon left the Spanish number one with a 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4) victory after Wawrinka saved four match points over two games.

Nadal joined Roger Federer, number three Novak Djokovic and fourth seed Andy Murray in the last eight, with Frenchman Gilles Simon the seventh seed the only leading contender missing.

Federer completed his 33rd Miami victory in his 11th straight year at the event, with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Taylor Dent.

“It was really a lot of fun playing against Taylor. I think he was playing well. I had to come up with some good passing shots to make a difference,” Federer said.

Dent, 27, spent six months in a body cast and underwent three back operations as he missed three years of ATP play due to his health problems. The US player returned to the game at the start of 2009 with a ranking just inside the top 500 after his inactivity.

The Swiss battled past in less than 90 minutes to next face Andy Roddick after the US player defeated French ninth seed Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.

Federer owns Roddick in their series, winning 16 of their 18 matches.

“It’s going to be tough, but I feel like I’m playing well,” Roddick said. “Roger seems to really serve well against me. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a couple more looks on his serve.”

Roddick upset Federer a year ago in Miami, which Federer avenged in January at the Australian Open, where he crushed the American.

Djokovic will now aim to reverse a stretch of four consecutive defeats against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, whom he last beat in the 2008 Australian Open final.

2007 Miami champion Djokovic controlled Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-2, while Tsonga, seeded 10th, ousted compatriot Gilles Simon 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-2. Since Djokovic and Tsonga met last year in Melbourne, Australia, Tsonga has taken revenge with ATP victories in Bangkok, Paris, Shanghai and Marseille.

“I’ve lost to him four times in a row, so he has a little advantage there,” Djokovic said. “But all the matches were very close. It’s going to be a challenge for me to win.”

Murray mowed down Serb Viktor Troicki 6-1, 6-0 in 58 minutes in sweltering heat as the Scot won his eighth match out of the last nine.

“It’s especially nice when the weather is like this to get in relatively quickly,” said the winner of two titles so far in 2009.

“To get a break early, right from the start, set the tone for the rest of the match. He didn’t really recover from that. By the end of the match, I didn’t feel like he believed he could come back.”

Women’s eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki struggled for nearly three hours in the heat before the Russian prevailed 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, after saving 13 of 15 break points and taking treatment on the side.

Victoria Azarenka will face Kuznetsova after hammering Samantha Stosur 6-1, 6-0.

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